INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
GRE 366, GPA 3.91
Harvard | Ms. Risk-Taker
GRE 310 (to retake), GPA 3 (recalculated)
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Funder
GMAT 790, GPA 3.82
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
GMAT 710, GPA 3.06
Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
GRE 318, GPA 3.0
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
GMAT 740, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. MPP/MBA
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
GMAT 690, GPA NA
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
GMAT 670, GPA 3.2
INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1
Kellogg | Mr. AVP Healthcare
GRE 332, GPA 3.3

Handicapping Your MBA Odds

He’s a 26-year-old African American in a leadership rotational program at a leading corporation. With a 710 GMAT and a 3.1 grade point average, he believes an MBA degree will help him achieve his goal of becoming a senior executive in a Fortune 100 company.

An Eagle Scout, this 27-year-old software engineer at General Dynamics had led several technical teams on critical assignments. With a 720 GMAT and a 3.7 GPA, he wants an MBA to assist his transition into technology consulting.

He’s a professional rock climber who has scaled many big peaks in the Himalayas. A market research analyst on the clean tech industry for Bloomberg, this 26-year-old is hoping the MBA degree will allow him to transition to a top strategy consulting job.

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

What these MBA candidates share in common is the goal to get into one of the world’s best business schools. Do they have the raw stats and experience to get in? Or will they get dinged by their dream schools?

Sanford “Sandy” Kreisberg, founder of MBA admissions consulting firm HBSGuru.com, is back again to analyze these and a few other profiles of actual MBA applicants who have shared their vital statistics with Poets&Quants.

As usual, Kreisberg handicaps each potential applicant’s odds of getting into a top-ranked business school. If you include your own stats and characteristics in the comments, we’ll pick a few more and have Kreisberg assess your chances in a follow-up feature.

(Please add your age and be clear on the sequence of your jobs in relaying work experience. Make sure you let us know your current job.)

Sandy’s tell-it-like-it-is assessment:

Mr. Fortune 100

  • 710 GMAT
  • 3.71 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business and accounting from a private liberal arts college
  • Work experience includes three and one-half years in a leadership rotational program at a Fortune 100 company; in such areas as financial planning & analysis, corporate accounting and treasury
  • Extracurricular involvement as a mentor to high school seniors; led a finance workshop for minority teens
  • Goal: To become a senior executive in a Fortune 100 corporation; also “would like to improve the financial literacy of the entire free world”
  • 26-year-old, African-American male, first generation college graduate

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 40+%

Stanford: 35+%

Wharton: 45+%

Chicago: 50+%

Kellogg: 50+%

Carnegie Mellon: 60+%

Michigan: 60+%

Columbia: 50+%

New York: 60+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Hey buddy, this one is easy since you touch all the stations of the cross: GPA (3.71)-GMAT (710)-Fortune 100 Rotational Program and Fortune 100 Job (after that)-Black-Do Gooder.

Guys like you get admitted and dinged at HBS and Stanford depending on serviceable execution and recommendations, and not screwing up the interview at HBS.  As noted here often, the Stanford interview barely counts and was implemented as outreach to their under-employed alums (who do them)  and because candidates wanted it — so a two-fer for the adcom,  with nobody interviewing nobody as far as they are concerned.

You are also strong at Wharton although the interview process there is slightly more serious. The new “Zen” HBS app is a gift to you since you can use your financial literacy campaign as one answer and then come up with some “work” story for the other. I’d combine the first-gen college angle into the financial literacy story. At schools like Chicago, Kellogg, Tepper, Ross, Columbia it should just be a matter of convincing them you want to come.

“Universal financial literacy” is a great banner to fly, though I would not make it the centerpiece of your long-term goals. All that said, you got a solid and tight story and if your Fortune 100 company gets behind you with detailed and enthusiastic recommendations, you should have great success in this process.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.